Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Anything Goes

We've all been anxiously awaiting our high school production of "Anything Goes." Tomorrow is opening night and Sam and Savannah are excited. They both have fun roles in the show and I can't wait to see them in the spotlight.

Each year, their director has asked me to tackle a small project involving one of the props necessary for the show. (My contributions from the past couple of years are here and here.) This year, I was given a stuffed dog and a toddler-sized shirt that was way too big for the dog. My job was to make the shirt fit the dog and put the words "YALE" on the front. After some pinning and tucking and sewing, here is what I came up with:

Now on with the show! :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Series of Smiles

Here's the latest drawing by Sterling. He's such a random artist - you just never know what he'll come up with. I thought this was worth a smile. :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Sam got all dressed up last night and headed off to Prom with the exchange students. He and Absa had a good time with Sam even participating in a dance-off. According to a few comments I've heard, the dance-off was highly entertaining and unexpected. (I think Sam is generally viewed as a pretty conservative and predictable guy. :)

Absa is with a great host family right now. She's doing very well on the girls' Soccer team. They are having an amazing season! She has long since overcome her homesickness and has learned to really love it here. She heads home mid-June and is already worried about how much she'll miss us all. I know we'll miss her when she's gone!

Lara from Turkey, Kalin from Bulgaria, Absa from Senegal, and Sam. :)
A good looking bunch!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Baby Giraffe

I don't know when I fell in love with giraffes. If I had to pick my favorite animal, it would be a toss-up between turtles and giraffes. Something about giraffes just makes me get all soft inside and say 'awww.' So when I saw this photo on nbcnews.com (photo #11), I melted. How adorable is this cute little baby giraffe against a backdrop of his mother? I just wanted to share so you can say 'awww,' too. So cute!

Photo Credit: Markus Schreiber / AP

Monday, April 22, 2013

Carmina Kids

Carmina Burana at the University last night was amazing! I totally loved it and got a little teary at the end seeing four of my kids up there smiling as the audience thundered their applause. I am so grateful for our Orchestra Conductor who invites the high school and middle school choirs to be a part of things like this, not to mention the program that allows my boys to play violin with the orchestra. This is something my kids will always remember!

Here's a photo of my four who were part of Carmina Burana. Don't they look great all dressed up in their concert clothes?
Spencer, Sterling, Savannah, Sam

And here are a couple more just to give you a feel for what we put up with around here. Savannah is a little crazy but we love her! :)

(Crazy girl!)

Edit: In fairness to Savannah (all joking aside), here's is a picture of her that even she likes:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Showers

Ah, April Showers. Doesn't that sound so much nicer than severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes? Why, yes it does! So I will call our little rain storm 'April Showers' and forget that we are under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, a Tornado Watch, a Flash Flood Warning and a High Wind Advisory.

La la la...

Here are a few pictures of the amazing clouds as the storm quickly moved in - these give new meaning to the words pretty and scary. (Pretty scary!) These pictures were all taken in a period of roughly 10 minutes. Then the sky turned completely white and it started to pour.

The first 3 pictures are looking north:

The last 3 are looking south:


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Flash Mob: Carmina Burana

The University is performing Carmina Burana this weekend. The University orchestra and choirs will be joined by the high school choir and middle school choir along with a choir from the community college. Because Sterling plays violin in the University orchestra, Sam and Savannah sing in the high school choir and Spencer is in the middle school choir, four of my kids will be participating in the performance. Pretty exciting!

As a result, we loved this Flash Mob video. It's got a few surprises near the end. I hope you like it as much as we did!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Double Take

A unicorn and a squirrel were walking down the street...

...only this is no joke. Savannah, Sterling and I were driving around campus yesterday when we saw these two...um...creatures out for a stroll. Savannah was able to snap a quick photo with my iPod as we drove past.

Surely there must be a punchline in this somewhere. Crazy stuff!

Friday, April 12, 2013


I love this poem Sadie wrote about her favorite color. It made me smile. :)

Here is the full poem, complete with Sadie's cute 2nd grade spelling. :)

Pink by Sadie Stowell
Dedicaded to my favorit sister Savannah

Pink is bright and happy.
Pink is the begining of blooming spring.
Pink is miraculous
Pink is dazzling.
Pink tastes like inpressivly fresh strawberrys from the garden.
Pink smells like dazzling perfume.
Pink sounds like a watermelon being diced.
Pink feels like awsomly soft rose peadals.
Pink looks like a bowl of moulth watering watermelon.
Pink makes me marvolas
Pink is my absalut favorit color.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


We've had the most beautiful weather the past couple of days. I know that portions of the country are being hit with massive snowstorms, but we are enjoying temperatures in the 70's and a few trees around town are showing off their blossoms. Our grass is perfectly green and we've already mowed it twice. My tulips are still of the store-bought variety, but if this weather keeps up, the tulips in our yard will be bursting forth any minute! I can't wait. :)

I love spring!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Recipe: Mom's Caramel Corn

Mmmm, I love this Caramel Corn! It's so addicting and sticky and yummy! I just made a big batch for an activity tonight. Start to finish it took no longer than 30 minutes - not necessarily including clean up. Somehow I was up to my elbows in stickiness! But it's worth it. Just make sure you use a big enough pan, otherwise it might boil over and glue itself to your stove top. Not that I'd know from experience or anything...!  Here goes:

Mom's Caramel Corn
1 c. white corn syrup
2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. margarine (1 stick)
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 gallons popped corn (I used two 8 oz. bags of butter flavored puffed corn - see image. No pesky hulls to get stuck in your teeth!)

Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, and margarine in a heavy sauce pan and cook to 238ยบ. Remove from heat and add sweetened condensed milk. Blend well, but do not cook. Pour over popped corn and blend well. Form into balls if desired or just eat.

That's it! Easy peasy. :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Pit of Stress

Soren drew this picture for me:

Look what is on the back:

Each little box is something he'll do -- He'll help clean the house twice and help with three jobs, etc.

Thanks, Soren! You made my day. :)

Love you, buddy.

Monday, April 1, 2013

17 Years

Dear Sam,
How did you go from this--

 to this in the blink of an eye?
It's hard to believe you're 17! This year will be bittersweet - full of "lasts:" Our last summer together, our last Christmas, your last year of high school.... This time next year we'll probably know where you're going on your mission. It's happening way too fast!

I'm proud of you and the good things you do. I'm glad you're a good friend, a great violinist and vocalist, a funny actor. Thanks for being a great student. I know you'll be an amazing missionary. Let's make this your best year so far!

Happy Birthday, Sam!

I love you,